Planning and development – guidance

Reduce dolphin and porpoise by-catch

Certain vessels must use an acoustic deterrent device, known as a 'pinger', to reduce the level of dolphin and porpoise (cetacean) by-catch.

You must fit and use a device that meets the legal technical requirements and can be used by UK fishing vessels if your vessel is 12 metres or over and use bottom set gill or entangling nets in:

  • Area IV and the net’s mesh size is 220mm or more – all year
  • Area IV and the net is of any mesh size and is 400 metres or less – between 1 August and 31 October
  • Area VII d, e, f, g, h and j – all year

Map showing areas where the use of acoustic deterrent devices is required under the regulation

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You must assess which device is suitable for your purposes and how many you need to be fully compliant. The numbers required and cost of devices will vary depending on the:

  • device
  • distances it needs to be used at
  • length of nets used

The devices must be used as required by the technical specifications and the manufacturer’s guidelines.

To help reduce inspection times and minimise any disruption to your fishing activities, you should record how you use these devices in the comments box on paper log sheets or electronic logs. This should include the:

  • make of the device
  • numbers used
  • spacing of devices along the nets

You should record any by-catch of marine mammals to help the UK with its EU monitoring and reporting requirements.

Devices

There are many EU regulation-compliant devices and this list is not exhaustive. You should research the different options and choose the device most suitable for your vessel.

Device Specifications and spacing
Airmar Gillnet Pinger (PDF, 244KB) Set 2
Aquamark 100 Set 1
Aquamark 200 Set 1
Aquamark 300 Set 2
DDD-03L  
FishTek Banana Pinger BP154 Set 1
Future Oceans 10 KHz Porpoise Pinger Set 2
[Future Oceans 70 KHz Dolphin Pingerhttp://futureoceans.com/products/) Set 1
SaveWave HiProtect Set 1

Specifications and spacing

The device used must meet one of the following sets of signal and implementation characteristics or, if it does not, must be separately authorised by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). One device has been separately authorised for use by Defra (DDD-03L) under the derogation contained in Article 3(2) of Regulation (EC) 812/2004. This authorisation covers the period 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2016, and extends the previous two year period of authorisation for this device. It is Defra’s intention to apply to re-extend the authorisation period in 2016.

You must use the DDD-03L as described in the guidance from the Cornish Fish Producers’ Organisation and Sea Mammal Research Unit. For vessels fishing in other MS waters, a letter of authorisation is available from the MMO, which repeats the guidance as to how the DDD-03L must be deployed.

Cornish Fish Producers' Organisation and Sea Mammal Research Unit DDD-03L industry guidance

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  Set 1 Set 2
Signal synthesis Digital Analogue
Tonal/wide band Wide band or tonal Tonal
Source levels (maximum to minimum) re 1µPa@1m 145 dB 130 to 150 dB
Fundamental frequency 20 to 160 kHz wide-band sweeps, 10 kHz tonal 10 kHz
High-frequency harmonics Yes Yes
Pulse duration (nominal) 300ms 300ms
Interpulse interval 4 to 30 seconds randomised, 4 seconds 4 seconds
Maximum spacing between 2 acoustic deterrent devices along a net 200 metres – 1 device fixed at each end of the net (or combination of nets attached together) 100 metres – 1 device fixed at each end of the net (or combination of nets attached together)

Further information

Council Regulation (EC) No 812/2004 (PDF, 148KB)

EU summary of 812/2004

EU Habitats Directive

Protecting whales, dolphins and porpoises

Mitigating Cetacean By-catch project which included trials of the DDD-03L

Contact information

Marine Conservation and Enforcement Team

0191 376 2538/2677

conservation@marinemanagement.org.uk